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  • 124 Citations
  • 6 h-Index

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Personal profile


Dr Ayoubi is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) in UK and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. At academic levels, he held the positions of Quantitative Institutional Researcher at the University of Glamorgan in Wales; Consultant for the UNDP; Visiting Research Fellow in the field of HE Governance at University of Kassel in Germany; Senior Projects and Internationalisation Consultant and PhD supervisor at Cardiff Met University; Assistant and Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Leadership and Organisational Studies for 8 years when he taught courses in Organisation Theory,  Organisational Behaviour, Strategy, Leadership Skills, Business Case Studies, Strategic Marketing, and Managerial Economics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

He received his PhD degree in managing Internationalisation and partnerships of UK universities and MA degree from the University of Nottingham/School of Education and Business School in UK funded jointly by Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships, Nottingham and Damascus Universities. Earlier, he received three degrees; which are Postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies, Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Computing, and Bachelor of Arts in Business. In the latter degree, he was ranked the first graduated student amongst his colleagues.

Dr Ayoubi is the Editor in Chief for Journal of Marketing of Higher Education published by Taylor and Francis and ex-Associate Editor for the same journal; Member of the editorial board of International Journal of Educational Management published by Emerald; and Arab Economics and Business Journal published by Elsevier. He contributed as author and reviewer to several international academic journals published by Emerald, Taylor & Francis and others. He has written more than 50 academic articles, conference papers and country reports in the field of HE management, marketing, internationalisation and leadership. His work was mainly published in Studies in Higher Education Journal, Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Strategic Marketing Journal, European Journal of Higher Education, International Journal of Educational Management, Education and Training Journal, International Higher Education Journal, Journal of Management Development, Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, Journal of Further and Higher Education, International Journal of Management Education, Handbook of Internationalisation of Higher Education, and University World News.

Before joining Coventry University as Associate Professor in Business Strategy,  from 2007 until early 2016, Dr Ayoubi was the director, coordinator and senior focal point of Tempus, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus+ Programmes, and European HE programmes in Syria (with a total value of over 15 million euros for Syria). Managing a team of 5 support staff and 5 HE reform experts; following up the implementation of more than 40 Tempus and Erasmus+ partnerships’ projects aiming at developing educational capacity, and involved in monitoring for and reporting to the European Commission, European Delegation and Minister of HE; and successfully developed huge networks in the international market, including mainly Europe and the MENA regions. In his previous work at Cardiff Met University, he was involved in preparing several policy reports, studies and reviews that support the internationalisation strategy of the university, including mainly leading a Badge of Comprehensive Internationalisation for Cardiff Metropolitan University offered by International Association of Universities to be the first university awarded this badge. In addition, he was the core leading person for writing international projects’ proposals for the international and partnerships office. He, with a team of four people, targeted funds from Erasmus+ Key Action 1+2 (mainly CBHE Projects), British Council, SPHEIR Programme, Higher Education Leadership Foundation, and UKCISA Grants Scheme.

Furthermore, he has three PhDs and five MPhil completions. He also supervised the work of three post doctorate researchers in the field of higher education management. Dr Ayoubi acts as internal and external examiner for several PhD/MPhil theses in UK and internationally.

He was an expert for several HE funded projects from the EU and other funding bodies, such as, Establishing an Internationalisation of HE Network for the MENA Region; Internationalisation of HE regional meetings for the Netherlands Institutes in the Middle East; Middle East Research and Innovation Dialogue (MERID), and Science4Refugees.

Prior to the political unrest in Syria, Dr Ayoubi was national counterpart for Fact Finding Mission of Said Business School at Oxford University to Syria for a Leadership programme, and supervisor for 10 VIPs candidates from public, private and NGO sectors; Team member for the Fact Finding Mission of DAAD to Syria to develop a Centre of Research in HE; and National counterpart for MTEF, team member for Quality Assurance, information systems and Steering Committee member for an EU funded project for upgrading the HE system in Syria, Ministry of HE (value of 10 million Euros).

He act as contributor to the political dialogue in HE with the EC for the MENA, and was involved in several missions for upgrading the HE system in Syria supported by the EU, UNDP and others. His methods of managing strategic cooperation and partnerships in the HE sector developed in his PhD thesis was published in a book called «Strategic Management and Globalization: The M4O and 5S Methods and International Partnerships in Universities».

In October 2015 he was ranked third in Syria in English publications in business and managemen indexed in Scopus, according to the Erasmus+ Report of indexing international Syrian researchers. In July 2018, he received Cardiff Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Global Diplomacy and Engagement.


Research Interests

Dr Ayoubi main research interests is higher education management including mainly:

Strategy and management of internationalisation;leadership; strategic management in the sector; youth issues in the sector; HE in conflict zones, management and marketing of HE; CRM strategy and IS in HE; labour market and employability of graduates; HRM in HE and modelling and system thinking in HE sector, global governance, diplomacy and social responsibility of the HE sector.

PhD Project

  • Ms Lamiaa Hassan, Thesis title: An investigation of the academic advising process in Egyptian HE Sector: A comprehensive case study approach (PhD, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, 2018), completed.
  • Ms Nourhan Hamdi, Thesis title: Social networking sites in HE: A communities of inquiry-based study (PhD, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, 2019), completed.
  • Mr Alex Addae Korankey, Thesis title: A comprehensive framework to investigate the phenomenon of Microfinance in Ghana (PhD, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, 2020), completed.

Education/Academic qualification

Strategic management and globalization in the HE sector, Doctorate, University of Nottingham

Feb 2001May 2006

Strategic Management , MA, University of Nottingham

Sep 1999Aug 2000

Computing and Economics, Postgraduate Diploma, University of Aleppo

Sep 1997Jul 1998

Business Studies, Postgraduate Diploma, University of Aleppo

Sep 1996Jul 1997

Business Administration and Economics, Degree, University of Aleppo

Sep 1992Jul 1996

External positions

Editor in Chief for Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Taylor and Francis

1 Jan 2019 → …

Fellow, FRSA, Royal Society of Arts

1 Dec 2017 → …

Invited lecturer, New Trends in Marketing (MBA candidates, the Pharmaceutical Syndicate), Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport

Jul 2017

Associate Editor in Chief for Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Taylor and Francis

May 2017Dec 2018

Fellow, CMI , Chartered Management Institute

Jun 2016Jun 2017

Senior Projects and Internationalisation Consultant, and PhD supervisor at Cardiff School of Management , Cardiff Metropolitan University

Dec 2015Jan 2020

Associate Professor in Strategic Management, Damascus University

May 2015Dec 2015

National Director for ERASMUS+ Programme in Syria, European Commission and Ministry of Higher Education

Jan 2014Feb 2016

Part Time Lecturer in Strategic Management, Arab International University

Sep 2013Aug 2014

Assistant Professor in Strategic Management, Damascus University

Sep 2011Apr 2015

Part Time Lecturer of Leadership Skills (MBA), Higher Institute for Business Administration

Sep 2007Aug 2008

Part Time Lecturer, Syrian Virtual University (Online)

Sep 2007Aug 2011

National Consultant, United Nations Development Programme

Feb 2007Jul 2007

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management, Damascus University

Jan 2007Aug 2011

National Director for TEMPUS Programme and Erasmus Mundus Programme, European Commission and Ministry of Higher Education

Jan 2007Dec 2013

Quantitative Institutional Researcher, and Lecturer of Research Methods, University of Glamorgan

Jan 2006Jun 2006

Part time Information Technology Support Officer and Tutor, University of Nottingham

Sep 2002Aug 2005

Teaching Assistant, Damascus University

Sep 1998Aug 1999

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Research Output

  • 124 Citations
  • 6 h-Index
  • 21 Article
  • 1 Conference proceeding

Should responsible management education become a priority? A qualitative study of academics in Egyptian public business schools

Mousa, M., Massoud, H. K., Ayoubi, R. M. & Abdelgaffar, H. A., 1 Mar 2020, In : International Journal of Management Education. 18, 1, 12 p., 100326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    A system dynamic model of student enrolment at the private higher education sector in Syria

    Al Hallak, L., Ayoubi, R. M., Moscardini, A. & Loutfi, M., 3 Apr 2019, In : Studies in Higher Education. 44, 4, p. 663-682 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)

    Multi Academy Trusts in England: A scenario of cooperation with universities

    Massoud, H. K., Ayoubi, R. M. & Loutfi, M., 7 May 2019, In : International Journal of Educational Management. 33, 4, p. 569-572 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle